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Ousted Egyptian president Morsi has life sentence overturned

In his second legal victory in a week, the imprisoned ex-leader has won a retrial. But first, a court will start reviewing a separate life sentence next week.

A court in Egypt overturned a life sentence against the country's former president Mohammed Morsi Tuesday.

It is the second legal victory in a week for the Muslim Brotherhood leader, who was taken off death row last week.

Morsi was imprisoned after a 2013 military coup ended his year-long reign as Egypt's first freely elected president. Currently serving 20 years hard labor and a second life sentence, and facing a retrial of a death sentence, the recent victory does not mean he will be released from prison any time soon.

Morsi has been accused and convicted of multiple crimes. The life sentence overturned on Tuesday followed charges of spying for the Islamist militant group Hamas.

"The verdict was full of legal flaws," Morsi's lawyer told the AFP.

Präsidentschaftswahlen in Ägypten Reaktionen (picture-alliance/AA)

A young protester holds a portrait of ousted president Morsi at an anti-coup demonstration in Cairo on May 30, 2014

The Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest court, has ordered that the case be retried. Nineteen other people who were co-defendants in the case - including three of Morsi's fellow Muslim Brotherhood leaders - will also be retried.

A second life sentence related to handing over stolen state documents to the country of Qatar will be reviewed beginning next Monday.

The rise and fall of Morsi

Morsi rose to power on a revolutionary uprising in 2011 that saw millions of protestors demanding the resignation of long-time strongman leader Hosni Mubarak. After winning elections, Morsi quickly lost the confidence of large segments of the Egyptian population. Critics claimed the Islamist leader ignored the country's social and economic problems in favor of an undemocratic power grab.

Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party were removed from power in 2013 by the Egyptian military following massive protests. The coup was followed by large-scale violence against his supporters in which thousands died.

Former military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the current leader of the country.

ae/tj (AFP, Reuters)

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